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 Post subject: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 6:31 pm 
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I love the sound of a good tube amp, they just can't be beat. Fender Hot Rod series, Peavey Classic series, etc. Yet, to get the sound that I would want would require either an attenuator or ear plugs with an understanding family and neighbors plus pedals.

Anyone considering going from their Mustang to a tube amp? I'm finding for my purpose and applications, that my Mustang iii is so close that I can't justify it.

Just curious how others feel on this subject


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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 8:34 pm 
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I've been playing Mustangs for about a year and a half now - and a CyberDeluxe before that. They're great for rehearsals - nice and light and versatile - and I've gigged with them extensively, but I did pickup a Mesa TransAtlantic 15 in December and have started using that for gigs recently. I love the flexibility of the Mustangs, but I do find the Mesa has a "thicker" tone overall that really is missing from the Mustang. I don't want to get into a digital vs. analog debate, I just know what I hear when I A/B these two pups together.

In all honesty, I doubt anybody in the audience would know the difference, but it makes a difference in the way I play depending on what I "hear" coming out of the amp in a live environment. I'll never the get the versatility with a tube amp that I get with the Mustang, but then again, maybe I'm trying to use to many different tones ;) Overall, you need a good clean tone, a good crunch tone and something to kick it up for solos - with a few odd spices to make it all come together - script Phase 90, good wah, decent delay and a trusty compressor.

That said, I wouldn't ditch my Mustang III and V for nothing - they're great amps to have.


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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Sun Mar 18, 2012 9:07 pm 
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I did go from my Mustang II to a tube amp...the flagship Marshall JVM410H. Hey, if you're going to upgrade, go big.

Seriously, I got the Mustang V AFTER the Marshall JVM, so that'll tell ya something. The JVM has a true valve organic sound that my Mustang cannot replicate, but the Mustang comes damned close...and I like being able to switch to a Mesa or Peavey amp without actually having to spend ~$5,000 to get those amps. My Mustang II is my default go-to practice amp...then I go to the Mustang V before I even think about powering on my JVM.

Just because you have a Ferrari out in your garage doesn't mean you take it to work every day. I have a Toyota Celica 4-banger for that. The Ferrari is for when you want to impress the ladies once in a blue moon (read: gig).

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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Fri Mar 23, 2012 11:07 am 
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I'd say it depends on the tones you're going for and specific amp models. My main amp is a Marshall JVM, and I bought an Mustang MI about a year ago just for a small amp easy to carry around the house if I want to play somewhere other than my music room. I rarely use it in the music room because the JVM just sounds better to me, even at low volumes (and the JVM sounds great at low volumes, much better than most tube amps).

However, the other day I was trying to get a nice, low gain fendery tone, and I wasn't quite getting there with the JVM (duh! it's not a fender). And I found exactly what I needed with the Deluxe Reverb model on the Mustang...though I was playing through a 1x12 cab, not the stock 8" speaker, which makes all the difference.

While I'd love to have an actual Deluxe Reverb, I have to admit the Mustange does a great job at a fraction of the price! And to be honest, the Deluxe Reverb and Twin Reverb models were a big part of the reason I bought the Mustang...not ready to shell out for the real thing, and I trust Fender to model their own amps a little better than another company!

But for medium and high gain stuff, I'm still going to use the JVM, at least when I'm in my music room!


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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 9:03 pm 
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I know this is an old thread, but i had to chime in. I'm a fairly inexperienced player. I'm also one of those all or nothing people. I have issues with effects and tone, in that although I can hear a difference, I can't really decide what is better. I've always had a tendency to always use clean or full gain, when it comes to delay, I have a hard time deciding what delay times are best, etc...

That being said, i recently just got back into playing guitar (well, close to a year ago), after not playing for approx. 20 years. When I played as a teenager, I never even owned a real amp, I played through a home stereo with effects pedals. This time around I initially bought a used 80s era crate amp from guitar center that I had to return because it would "cut out/go dead" after a few minutes if you had the volume turned up past 1 or 2. When I went into my local guitar center to find a replacement, I ended up buying a Mustang 3 amp. I had already researched the amp and chose it because of the fact it had all the built in effects. Part of me getting back into guitars was "don't spend too much money in case this is just another phase you're going through" type of deal.

That being said, after around a year of playing again, I finally decided it was time to move up from my budget model guitars and go back to the 1st guitar I ever owned that my dad gave me when I was 16. While searching craigslist for a deal I could afford, I checked out an SG being sold on there, which turned out to be an sg special, not a standard. But, I still decided to try playing it before deciding what I wanted to do. The guy had a fender tube amp (cant remember the model now), and when I strummed that guitar I was amazed at how great it sounded. Now I honestly can't attest that the guitar had nothing to do with it, to me it really sounded like the "tone/sound/mojo/whatever" of that amp was the difference.

I will know soon though, I finally got an SG standard for a price I could reach and it should be here any day. I'm really thinking I will end up parting with my mustang for a good ol' tube amp once my finances recover.

I hate throwing money at great gear when I'm, at best, a novice player... But then again, I'd rather know that the reason it's not sounding right is definitely because of me and not because of the cheap gear I own.


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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Mon Sep 09, 2013 8:24 pm 
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Thought would share on ths one.
Have played tube amps since forever ago (been playing 30+ yrs. Many Bands and Gigs) until recently when I acquired the Mustang III.

Honestly, can't say enough good things about it. It's more versatile, powerful/loud enough for Gigging and Rehearsal use, intuitive, just as tone worthy and a heck of a lot lighter than dealing with all tube puppys. Do tubes give better overall tone? In some instances yes (and that's a marginal "yes") however, do not miss having to open up the amp to get to the "Sweet Spot" in Tone. The "Sweet Spot" is present at any volume level with the Mustang III. That's awesome as well as practical.

Have used Ampeg, Marshall, Fender and Music Man amps. All fantastic amplifiers but, all too friggin' loud for most live performance applications. Period. Don't miss being too God Blessed LOUD all the time. And don't miss lugging around a hernia on casters either ;)

Will I go back to a tube amp for Gigging? Perhaps for a National Tour or something if that should present itself (would have to use several different amp heads and cabinet combinations) but, then again, I feel I could get all of what I would need out of a Mustang V head and cab. The Mustang ampliers respond just like real tube amps do. Once you spend enough time learning how to ride these amplifiers, you can get them to do all the things a good tube piggy can do... and then some.

For small club/bar Gigs, nope. The MIII satisfies all of my needs. Am finding that it also takes pedals well. Between the effects already loaded in it and some dirt pedals in the front I'm able to add some additional "Color" options to the signal. Very nice to have the type of freedom that these amps provide. And at a very Musician friendly price point.

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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 9:48 am 
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I just purchased and Ibanez Tubescreamer Amp, to use with my Mustang floor. I have a Mustang IV as well, and I set them up side by side to compare, using the same presets in both the floor and the IV. There is a huge difference in the sound between the IV and Floor/Tube combo. The IV sounds grittier, thicker, but a bit muddier.

The Floor/Tube amp sounds crisper, brighter, and clearer, especially with the distorted tones.

Does one sound 'better' than the other? I think it's a matter of preference, but I am pretty happy with the way the Mustang Floor sounds with the tube amp.

What's pretty interesting is that the same exact preset in both sounds very different from the IV to the Floor/Tube.


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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Tue Sep 10, 2013 10:30 am 
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laywrite wrote:
I just purchased and Ibanez Tubescreamer Amp, to use with my Mustang floor. I have a Mustang IV as well, and I set them up side by side to compare, using the same presets in both the floor and the IV. There is a huge difference in the sound between the IV and Floor/Tube combo. The IV sounds grittier, thicker, but a bit muddier.

The Floor/Tube amp sounds crisper, brighter, and clearer, especially with the distorted tones.

Does one sound 'better' than the other? I think it's a matter of preference, but I am pretty happy with the way the Mustang Floor sounds with the tube amp.

What's pretty interesting is that the same exact preset in both sounds very different from the IV to the Floor/Tube.


From what I can see, the ibanez amp you refer to seems to have an fx-return, I would suggest you connect the floor to that jack and see about the difference, otherwise, if connecting to the instrument input, you are going through the ibanez pre-amp which will colour the sound again (which you would normally do on the floor). The amp power section (where you plug into when using fx-return) should be colourless unless you push it really hard.

second, try to change the floor output eq to combo, stack and PA, with all the variants, they do make a lot of difference.

third, not sure about the dimensions, but the speaker on the ibanez look rather small (at least on the small model), and for sure will have a different response compared to the dual speakers on the M4. This will take away a lot of the bass frequencies on the ibanez (compared to the M4). One possibility would be to either play with the different cabinet emulations on the floor, or lower you bass knob on the M4


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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 12:07 pm 
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Thanks for the note Jedi. I currently have the Ibanez Tube amp connected to the Mustang Floor exactly the way you suggested, through the return. Sounds much better than the input on the amp, but disables the power boost, which is okay because I am very happy with the sound I am getting.

The Ibanez has one 12" speaker, like my Mustang III, and as you know, the IV has two 12" speakers, which really beefs up the sound. Interestingtly, the same presets on the Mustang III sound 'smaller' than those on the IV. The IV really gives off alot of bottom end. Oh, and I have the output utility set at combo, and it sounds the best.

All in all, they both sound great, but just different. It's fun to play with different amps/settings/etc, although it can be overwhelming at times. I mean...how does one choose their ideal tone with so many choices?


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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Wed Sep 11, 2013 6:33 pm 
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Location: Perth, Western Aus.
I currently play at home and still consider myself a beginner, 18 months in.

Tube amps don't seem to make any sense for me, and while I've gassed over a few hanging around forums, when I get in front of them, none do anything for me, especially given all the usual suspects are 2x the price US buyers are used to, and that carries over to used prices too.

Most start to sound good when they get too loud to play in a store, so I've no chance of doing that at home. I tried out a Tele the other day with a H&K, which had a clean, lead and crunch channel, and lots of neon blue tube bling. Sounded absolute shite to me. The clean was nice, but nothing my $100 Pathfinder couldn't do just as well.

Could not get a nice sound from the two gain channels at all. Sure, I'm not familiar with the amp, but even something as simple as backing off the gain and EQing straight up didn't extract any joy from it.

If I get to jam, then a 15W tube or more might start to make sense purely for volume and clean headroom, but something like the Mustang can do most of what a tube can do at home.


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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Thu Sep 12, 2013 4:29 pm 
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Strat-Slinger wrote:
Thought would share on ths one.
Have played tube amps since forever ago (been playing 30+ yrs. Many Bands and Gigs) until recently when I acquired the Mustang III.

Honestly, can't say enough good things about it. It's more versatile, powerful/loud enough for Gigging and Rehearsal use, intuitive, just as tone worthy and a heck of a lot lighter than dealing with all tube puppys. Do tubes give better overall tone? In some instances yes (and that's a marginal "yes") however, do not miss having to open up the amp to get to the "Sweet Spot" in Tone. The "Sweet Spot" is present at any volume level with the Mustang III. That's awesome as well as practical.

Have used Ampeg, Marshall, Fender and Music Man amps. All fantastic amplifiers but, all too friggin' loud for most live performance applications. Period. Don't miss being too God Blessed LOUD all the time. And don't miss lugging around a hernia on casters either ;)

Will I go back to a tube amp for Gigging? Perhaps for a National Tour or something if that should present itself (would have to use several different amp heads and cabinet combinations) but, then again, I feel I could get all of what I would need out of a Mustang V head and cab. The Mustang ampliers respond just like real tube amps do. Once you spend enough time learning how to ride these amplifiers, you can get them to do all the things a good tube piggy can do... and then some.

For small club/bar Gigs, nope. The MIII satisfies all of my needs. Am finding that it also takes pedals well. Between the effects already loaded in it and some dirt pedals in the front I'm able to add some additional "Color" options to the signal. Very nice to have the type of freedom that these amps provide. And at a very Musician friendly price point.


I have to agree. I am a newbie to this, so no gig experience, but- the more I play through this amp, the more really good sounds I find.

There are a lot of options, and each of those is fully tweakable. This means that there is a fairly steep learning curve- just figuring out what all it can do! I've been delighted at how detailed the models are, and how well it responds to different styles of playing and different pickups. The not so great owner's manual doesn't really help... Many of the effects on here I have no idea what they are, what they're supposed to do, or how they would be used. ( ex. Ducking delay; stereo echo filter, fuzzwah, etc.)

I think the key for me, once I got through the " I gotta try out everything" phase, was to take one model and play with it extensively until I had a reasonable idea of what all it could do. THEN the Eureka!!! moments started. It actually became difficult to find a crap sound. Figuring out how to use my pedals, and where to place them, helped immeasurably as well. For example, it wasn't until I stopped listening to conventional wisdom, and placed my flanger in FRONT of the amp, not in the loop with the modulation fx, that it started doing what it was supposed to do.

To bring this ramble back on track, I also have a 15 watt SC X2 for tubey stuff. The comments about home volume are spot on. Even this lil guy is mostly too loud to play at home unless the neighbors are all out. Sure, it'll do quiet- and with the voicings on ch2 it'll even do crunchy at low volume. BUT- to get the best out of it, you need to push it.

My 100 watt MIII will get all sorts of great tones at bedroom volume. AND it will get deafeningly loud if I want it to.


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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 2:05 pm 
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I've been playing and gigging on and of for almost 20 years now.
I used to have a Peavey Classic head which I played through a Laney 4x12 cab. Sold off the rig and bought myself a M4V2 and love the sound and versatility.

Given, the Classic had a bit more "feeling" to how it sounded, but the Mustang is 90% there and that last 10% it makes up for and surpasses through pure fun and versatility.
Sold off all of my pedals and bought a Boss GT100 (found a decently priced used one) for that last bit of flexibility.
I've reached a point where I just want things to be simple, minimalistic and just work. My current rig matches that description.

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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 5:44 pm 
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I went to the Fender Roadshow earlier this year and the guy playing alongside Greg Koch was only using a Mustang Floor all night.

He was playing so well, no one thought to care whether it lacked tubes or not.


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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Fri Sep 13, 2013 11:03 pm 
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Drubbing wrote:
I went to the Fender Roadshow earlier this year and the guy playing alongside Greg Koch was only using a Mustang Floor all night.

He was playing so well, no one thought to care whether it lacked tubes or not.


And isn't that what music is really all about?

O.


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 Post subject: Re: Mustang vs Tube Amp
PostPosted: Wed Sep 18, 2013 8:33 am 
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Mustang 4 v1 tone (2008 Corgan Strat, basic Princeton Reverb clean setting, real Dunlop Crybaby pedal in some places):




My playing sucks, but I like the tone. A lot of this is the position 2 "quack" position, which on the Corgan strat is quite unique IMO.


basic 65 deluxe setting; '11 Amer Standard Tele:



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